Another Friday night, another heartbreaking finish for Scott County on the road against a fellow top-25 team.
A field goal attempt in the rain from the left hash mark was ruled wide of the left upright with four seconds remaining, allowing host Lexington Catholic to escape with a wild 41-40 win.
The teams combined for 1,106 yards of total offense, and neither led by more than a touchdown all evening. Three total punts and three combined lost fumbles were the only breaks in the double-sided highlight film.
Jeremy Hamilton rushed for 144 yards, and three of his eight carries went for Scott County touchdowns of 24, 37 and 46 yards. Luke Colvin topped last week’s career highs with 24 carries for 177 yards and a score.
Freshman quarterback Andrew Hickey was 8-for-14 for 106 yards, including a fourth-and-14 strike to Paul Garner that kept SC (5-5) alive with under a minute to go. Garner's grab made up for the Cards' substantial loss after a failed hook-and-lateral on third down.
Lexington Catholic (8-2) then was assessed a personal foul at the end of a run by Colvin, giving SC first-and-goal. Jaxon Saylor powered ahead for three more yards, and Cards' coach Jim McKee ran the clock down to inside 10 seconds before calling timeout and sending out Jacob Bange and the kicking unit.
Thomas Feickert and Ellis Huguely also had TD runs for the Cardinals, who amassed 409 yards on the ground at a clip of more than eight yards per carry.
Walker Hall’s 9-yard run capped a 12-play, 82-yard drive to give the Knights their go-ahead score with 5:57 to play.
It was the fourth and final lead change of the night, answering Huguely’s 7-yard TD scamper in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
Hall carried 26 times for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first meeting between the two programs since 2008. Lexington Catholic has prevailed in six of its past seven tries against Scott County.
Jack Gohmann completed 19 of 29 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns – including three to Jack Monday – for Catholic. Monday caught seven for 142 yards.
All of SC’s losses are to teams ranked 18th or better in the state, including three by four points or less – Ballard last week, Bryan Station and Lexington Catholic.
It's a grind McKee has hoped all along will prepare SC for next week's first-round playoff showdown with Great Crossing, and should the Cards win that, another shot at perennial nemesis Frederick Douglass.
Outshone for much of the season by its defense, Scott County's Wing-T looked playoff ready and built for the more brutal weather at this time of year.
SC led 21-14 at the end of a furious first quarter and 34-28 at the half.
Lexington Catholic's opening seven-play, 80-yard march took less than two minutes, culminating in a 33-yard connection from Gohmann to Monday.
Hamilton returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards into SC territory to put the Cardinals in business. Colvin cranked out a 36-yard run on the second play from scrimmage, and Feickert slashed in from the 4 with 8:58 remaining in the quarter.
Scott County pinned Catholic inside its own 20 with the next kickoff, and a tackle for loss by Luke Valencia triggered a three-and-out.
The Cards again started near midfield after the Knights' punt. Hamilton's runs of 32, then 24 yards put SC on top.
Back stormed Lexington Catholic, which drove 91 yards after another mishap in the return game. Gohmann went 4-for-5 through the air on the tying drive, hitting Monday and Tanner Pedroche for first downs before a 45-yard scoring strike to Blake Busson.
SC needed only nine plays to restore the lead. Huguely's runs of 10 and 19 were the major chunks on a drive that concluded with Colvin's 7-yard surge.
Hall scooted 44 yards on the final play of the opening period, then converted fourth-and-1 from the Cardinals' 24 to set up Gohmann's 20-yard throw to Monday for a deadlock at 21.
Two penalties and a dropped pass stalled Scott County's next journey into Catholic territory on downs, but Jasante Harmon and Saylor stuffed Monday for no again on fourth-and-1 at the Knights' 48 to return the favor.
Colvin pushed the pile up the middle twice to soften the Knights for Hamilton's 37-yard TD jaunt with 5:39 to go in the half.
The game of can-you-top-this continued.
Hall tied it with a 53-yard explosion. Hamilton countered with his longest scoring run of the night. Spencer Bennington blocked the extra point to keep it a six-point margin at the half.
That allowed Catholic to reclaim the lead after stopping SC on downs to start the second half. Hall ran for 11 yards ahead of a 17-yard TD toss from Gohmann to Monday. Max DeGraff supplied the PAT.
Four consecutive stops slowed the blistering pace.
Bennington sacked Hickey for the Cards' only three-and-put sequence in the contest. Saylor then forced a fumble by Max Mooring, which Elijah Adams recovered and ran back 41 yards to the Knights' 37.
Catholic managed a rare stop of Hamilton for no gain on third-and-5 at the 20 and forced an incomplete pass on fourth down. Adams threw Hall for a two-yard loss on the next play as SC buckled down one more time to close out the third quarter.
Hickey hit Hamilton with a 36-yard offering, and Huguely soon capitalized to give Scott County its final advantage.
Hall and Gohmann each rushed for a third-down conversion on Catholic's game-winning drive. Hall also recovered a fumble by his quarterback along the route.
An exchange of fumbles – Harrison Romero recovered first for Catholic, then Cam Keller on behalf of SC – set the stage for the Cardinals' late flurry. Hickey found Saylor for 30 yards to fuel the 11-play, 84-yard grind through the elements.